KARACHI: Iranian Consul General, Masoud Mohammad Zamani has said Iran has completed major portion of work on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and within couple of months the pipeline will at Iran-Pakistan border.
Hopefully, by 2013 Iran gas will be used in Pakistan, Iranian envoy explained during a meeting with members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry here at KCCI.
He also informed that Iranian Embassy in Islamabad and Consulate in Karachi have been pursuing Pakistan Government and State Bank of Pakistan for setting up a branch of an Iranian Bank here to facilitate growth of Iran-Pakistan bilateral trade and investment in various sectors. He said it was expected that both the countries would have bank branches in each other’s side.
President KCCI Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad welcomed the efforts for opening of Iran bank branch here and assured that KCCI would also pursue the concerned Pakistani quarters for this purpose. He urged Iranian Consulate to reciprocate by forwarding the agenda of establishing a Pakistani bank branch in Iran.
Businessmen of both the countries faced problems in opening L/Cs in absence of direct banking facility between the neighbouring countries. This was one of the barriers in promoting bilateral trade which is much below the existing potential.
KCCI leadership and Iranian delegation agreed on exchange of more trade delegations and information about products and investment opportunities available on both sides which includes holding of more trade fairs/ exhibitions.
Iranian Counsel General sought cooperation and assistance from Karachi Chamber in strengthening economic ties between the two countries. We have achieved progress on bilateral trade and investment. Special counter/window has been set up in Iranian Consulate here for Pakistani businessmen. Iran has already extended facility of multiple visa to Pak businessmen, he added.
He said the Consulate would extend all possible help in holding Pakistan’s Solo Trade Exhibition in Tehran. MoU has been signed and the event would be held soon.
Iran’s Commercial attache here, Ahmed Fasihi said that 40-member trade delegation from Pakistan is scheduled to visit Kermanshah province in next two weeks. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is the organiser of this visit.
From Iran, one delegation each from Kurdistan and Khorasan chambers would visit Pakistan early next year.He informed that Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was discussed in detail in a meeting in Islamabad with Pakistan authorities 3-months back. 339 items have been placed under PTA he said and suggested that more items be included from both sides.
He acknowledged that Pakistan has reduced duties on many products and hoped that this would be done on more items. He was optimistic that PTA would soon be finalised. KCCI President supported the increase in number of items under PTA.
He pointed out that a large portion of bilateral trade was being done through illegal means which is not accounted for. He invited Iranian businessmen to participate in - My Karachi - exhibition, to be organised by KCCI.
He informed the visiting delegation that KCCI has planned to organise a seminar on PTA to create awareness among the businessmen on available products on both sides and requested the Iranian Embassy to provide maximum data in this regard.
Vice President KCCI Jawed Ahmed Vohra, Chairman KCCI Committee on Banking and Finance Attique- ur-Rehman, Nadeem Zaffar also participated in the discussion. Iran completes major part of IPI gasline Pakistan Times Business & Commerce Desk